I often talk about how my dad has encouraged, supported, and loved me in incredible ways throughout my life and through all ups and downs growing up.
My dad has been one of the biggest role models in my life. Because we are very similar in the way we think and operate I have looked up to my dad in all aspects of my life.
Here are 10 ways A Dad Can Raise an Empowered Daughter, written by me (Sarah).
1. Never allow the word “can’t” in their vocabulary, teach her to be determined and never give up.
I was trying to do a present for a guy….had the board and trying to hold the nail. I call them, “Bad One Arm Days”…bawling and crying…dad heard me and came to my room and asked what was wrong…on a 0 to 10 scale …one of my worst melt downs ever…dad said things in a calm voice…one of the most calm he’s ever been. Usually mom is more compassionate. Dad said to “think and assess…and I’ll be back.”
I was mad at my arm that it wouldn’t work….there’s not a lot I can’t do. But this one I could not figure out no matter how hard I tried. Dad came back 5-10 minutes later and I was still bawling….and I wanted to give up (which isn’t typical). He told me we can’t give up….he brought in a tool thing with a clip on the clamp and he said you can hold your little arm down on the wire and then hold the nail with your other arm.
In this moment my dad set me up for success.
2. Let her figure challenges out on her own, but let her know you are always there.
My dad figured out how to put my hair up…paint my nails…and ride my bike. He put his hand behind his back and tried to use one hand to pretend how to get the rubber band off his arm to hair…and taught me how to tie my shoes…he did it first with one hand. He taught me to paint my nails….put it on my little arm in the crease… He’s an electrical engineer….so he helped to engineer a solution.
My dad puts himself in my shoes, literally.
To dads who don’t have a daughter with a physical difference, but still struggles to look through her eyes at times. I think it all runs together. Think about what a father is, a father is loving, cautious, and kind. Everyone in this world does things differently and that’s okay. Your daughter isn’t you and you aren’t your daughter but if you teach her what matters, tricks, tips, and show her ways to do things kindly and lovingly her attitude will change and so will yours. Instead of looking through your own eyes as the only way, look through hers and see things from her perspective because remember she is at a different stage of life than you. A stage you probably were at once.
3. Push her to always do and be her best.
My dad has always told me….
I love to be right and I like arguments. Dad said it’s more important to show Gods’ love or grace than prove yourself….he’s always taught me that. He’s the same way and has gotten hurt so wants me learn from that dad.
How does a dad know how hard to push his daughter? Any suggestions on navigating that whole thing, especially if a daughter needs to be pushed but reacts when her dad tries to do that?
I think it’s a father’s intuition on how hard to push her. It all depends on how hard she wants to be pushed too. I think to navigate it, look at her strengths and her weaknesses. Try your absolute best to read her and understand what she needs at that time. I think all kids react at some point or say dad your pushing me too hard. I remember telling my dad this when I ran cross country but in reality I knew he wasn’t really pushing me too hard, I was pushing myself too hard because I didn’t want to let him down. he was just being a dad and wanted me to be my best self. A dad knows what’s best for his daughter, he knows her limits, and if he feels like he doesn’t don’t be afraid to ask her.
4. Instill the love of Jesus in her.
Ever since ever I have seen Jesus at work. I have been blessed to have been raised in a Christian and faith filled home. But really, instilling the love of Jesus in a child comes from the parents. It comes from how they treat their child, how they treat each other, and how they treat other people. My dad has let me know that yes he is my dad but there is a greater father that created me, that formed me perfectly with his hands, and died for me so that I could be saved. Because of my faith, I am strong, I am fearless, and confident in Christ.
5. Teach her to not always be right, but instead always be kind and share God’s love.
I stand confidently and focus on kindness by standing with God. I always imagine to myself what would Jesus say if he were in my position instead of myself. I always think to myself, I am placed on this Earth to spread God’s love and bring people home to Him. Therefore it is my responsibility to show how Jesus was. Jesus didn’t worry about being right but he did always want to be kind. And sometimes it’s really tough, but if I try to be right instead of kind I am not fulfilling my purpose here on earth.
6. Let her know that she is perfectly created by a God that loves her and she never needs to change
How you your dad helped you know you’ve been created perfectly and you never need to change?
Dad has always said, “Brush it off….don’t let kids make you feel bad…Yes, you’re different, we’re all different.” Senior year of high school ate lunch alone in a classroom of a teacher. Kids were mean in tweets on social media….sharing things about what I was doing on social media…
My dad taught me that my worth isn’t found in people, material items, Instagram likes, or words people say to me. My worth is found in Jesus. He always reminded me that yes words hurt, but not if you don’t let them. He made me stand up for myself, taught me how to be strong and always be myself. My dad taught me that I am more than the girl with one arm, that we all have marks, even the bullies. If kids stare let them stare, you cant blend in when you were born to stand out.
I am strong because I know that nothing anyone has ever said to me like that matters. Maybe they are going through something really tough too. We all are right? I stayed strong because I knew that I had to. There were other kids that looked to me and I want to always be an example, that’s why I share my story the good and the bad because I want people to know what I did and that they aren’t alone in these difficult times. When I was little and someone stared at me I use to wave my little arm to make them feel uncomfortable. And I like to make a joke about my arm. Like an alligator bit it off. If you noticed someone pointing and laughing tell them your story, say “hey I was born this way, and your staring and laughing hurt my feelings”
If you feel sad, or are feeling bullied, try your best to ignore their mean words and do your best to be kind to them even if they aren’t kind to you. Because maybe the bully is feeling sad too.
7. You have to be a friend to have a friend.
Do you have any practical suggestions for dads who don’t always understand their daughters when it comes to their drama-filled relationships being important to them and they don’t always have the patience for all the complexity of female relationships? Maybe something either from your own life or something your dad modeled to you or taught you---that’s helped you be a good friend?
I would encourage your daughter to stay out of the drama, my dad always did or he would say, “Sarah it’s not worth the tears.” My dad has always taught be to listen, listen to others and be the person that they need. Teen years are hard, and friends come and go. Let your daughter know that and let her know that some friends are real friends. If they talk bad bout ya they you don’t need that negativity or type of “friend” in your life. Honestly, just be real and raw with her. Speak truth.
8. Once you start something always finish it and see it through to the end.
I get asked this question from parents all the time, “How are you so strong?” They want that for their kids. My dad said, “Sarah, figure it out on your own first and I’m here when you need me.”
I don’t want to disappoint my dad….I always wanted to be the best runner so my dad wouldn’t be disappointed. He said he’ll always be proud of me but it’s mental in me…I’m holding myself to that standard.
My dad and I are wired the same. But I truly believe all of my values because I saw him truly live them out. He didn’t just tell me one thing and not do it. He practiced what he preached. There were many times when I wanted to give up or quit and my dad got stern with me and said Sarah we don’t quit. You started it now finish it with a good attitude and always do your best.
9. Be a leader not a follower.
I think I am just wired with leader instincts but I do think that dads can teach their daughters to stop trying to be someone they aren’t or following what their friends do because what their friends do might not be for them. Don’t be the girl who changes for friend group, or boy. Be the girl that say’s if you don’t like who I am then I don’t need ya. I think if a dad leads his family, and shows leadership skills at home his daughter will see that, follow, and look for that in a future husband.
10. Stand up for what you believe in even if its against the norm.
My dad taught me that it’s not about what’s popular, it’s about what you believe in. If you don’t believe it’s right than share your thought and stand your ground. But do so in a respectful and loving manner.
GO tell your daughter you love her, support her, and promise to lead her through every good and bad time.
GO tell her that she’s beautiful and never needs to change.
GO start to challenge your daughter to step outside her comfort zone and push her to always show love and kindness
To listen to the radio show on this topic with Dr. Michelle Watson Click here:
Let me first off start out by saying, I’m NOT an expert on relationships. I am writing this post based off the words God has given to me and what I believe, have been taught, and have seen in my parents and grandparents.
There are many different types of relationships. There are relationships in dating, marriage, friendship, etc.
In this post we are talking about dating and marriage and where God comes to play.
I’m a senior at a state university and needless to say, my views and my faith is not the norm.
Like I said previously I’m NOT an expert and I’m not even in a relationship right now. But I’ve been in them and I know what a relationship built on sand looks like.
The way that I describe relationships is that they are either built on sand (sand being the world) or they are built on a rock (God).
Now-a-days many of us don’t see a lot of relationships like our parents and grandparents. When I think of a relationship I think of my parents who spend every day together. They are each other’s best friend. I see how each of them love each other, and love their children. But most importantly I see how they love Jesus. When I walk downstairs in the morning and I see two bibles side by side at the kitchen table, I know that my parents have a relationship built on a rock. And I want that one day when Jesus has that man for me. But often now many of kids my age don’t value this. They say it’s too hard, or how do you even do that?
Honestly, I don’t have all the answers Im still searching myself. But what I can say is that a relationship that lasts in one where Christ is the center. It is two people putting God first before all else that this crazy life brings and seeking Him in every way possible. It’s trusting God’s plan and that He will build your relationship into one that lasts a lifetime.
Relationships are great right? I mean who wouldn’t want a best friend, and someone to do life with? But where are the signs of God in the relationship?
Ask yourself these questions: How is your relationship with God personally? Are your words and actions continually worshipping God? Are you and your partner keeping God at the center of your relationship? Are you growing closer to God, both individually and together as a couple?
It's hard when you and your partner are on two separate pages. I have been there, done that. It’s challenging and it’s hard, you don’t want to look at the reality but you know you have to trust God.
So let’s talk about this thing called relationship goals, a goal is this.
GOAL: the result or achievement toward which effort is directed or aimed.
The problem is that often our goals are not aimed at things that are stable. We need to have a goal that is aimed at something that is stable. So here comes another question, what is stable?
STABLE: unmoving, unchanging, and example of stable: is THE WORD OF GOD
And the standard of relationships needs to be stable, the standard of relationships needs to be the word of God. When you are in a relationship ask yourself….
DOES THAT RELATIONSHIP HELP YOU? If it does…great! In what way? If it doesn’t… ask yourself where is your aim?
Something I’ve learned is that God has an order for a successful relationship.
We need to go through this process in order to have a stable relationship on the rock. And we need to stop focusing on the world and focus on God. In him you will find what you are looking for, and trust his plan.
If your relationship is centered on Christ and you each have that desire to grow in a relationship with Him, then both of you will feel a sense of pleasing God. You want someone who can support you in reading the Bible daily and attending church and Bible studies. You want someone who will pray with you before each meal and every night; someone who will pray for YOU. Set an example to those around you, even for your future children on what a relationship is to be: centered on Christ.
Date someone who loves Jesus more than you. Choose to be with someone who brings out your truest identity in Christ. The right relationship won't distract you from God; it will bring you closer to Him. Ask God to give you His eyes for your partner, to show you how He sees him/her. There are no flaws but perfections; there are no downfalls but uniqueness. Looking at your partner through God’s eyes will give you a different view of what love is.
Fear takes ahold of us sometimes. It grabs our attention and get's us frustrated. Fear can have a powerful effect on us, on the way we think, our decisions, and our actions.
Fear took ahold of me my senior year.
I feared the lunch room, I feared the words my classmates said to and about me.
"Go live your imperfectly perfect life and kill yourself"
These were words that made me fear.
I haven't told many about this but here I am open for you guys because maybe you too have a similar situation or are letting fear take ahold of you.
We all have fears, like the fear of the dark as a kid, heights, sharks, or flying. Many of the things we fear never happen to us. The bible doesn't minimize the idea of fear, it adds to it by showing how the world will become in the end times. But why would we fear when we know who wins the final battle?
So why do we fear?
We fear because we are human and we listen to words, we listen to the devil's attack. When he says we aren't enough, we aren't pretty enough, or strong enough.
Fear takes a lot out of you. It steals your joy and happiness, it takes your confidence, and your worth.
Fear is powerful, BUT GOD IS EVEN MORE POWERFUL.
That's why in order to take our fear away we have to just give it to God. Cast all your fear's to Him.
In 1 John 4:18 it says, "There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love"
When you read this what do you think of?
When i first read it I thought, oh! Im not loving you perfectly God. And then I heard him say no Sarah you don't have to love me perfectly because "I love you perfectly".
I think all of us at times allow fear to take control of our lives. But if we fear God instead of other things we will begin to see how it can save us. Fearing the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. Remember, He rescues us from our delusions, so he may reveal the truth that sets us free. He sits in judgment of our sin, and will forgives us, when we ask.
God tells us to fear him and not fear man. God showed us this when he sent Jesus here on Earth. Jesus spoke lovingly to all, he demonstrated love beyond human understanding. Jesus lived out his words and promises.
We fear the world sometimes. We lose sight of being God's children. And God wants us to be his Children. But we lose sight of that because we live in a world that is deceived and Satan is doing everything he can to take people away from God.
So we need to stop, and re-evaluate. We need to share his love, because love can cast out fear.
“Love has been perfected among us in this: that we may have boldness in the day of judgment; because as He is, so are we in this world. There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love” (1 John 4:17-18).
God doesn't want fear to consume ur lives, God says fear not for I am with you.
In high school and still today I have found that when I begin to let fear step in and take control I have to ask myself, why would I fear when God is within me?
Then I give everything to him and it's incredible how I can literally feel the fear, worry, and anxiety flee from my body. It's like there was a black sheet over me and now God has taken it off of me and said Child fear not for I am with you. I will always be with you, each day of your life.
God makes some wonderful promises:
GO TO GOD WITH YOUR FEARS
Ask God to guide you, to give you strength and peace. God will hear you and deliver you from all your fears. Think of how David and Paul did this. God will always understand, the good times, the bad, every challenge that you face He knows and will walk you through it.
In whatever you do always seek God and his presence. When you do this you will see all of your troubles be set aside, all your fear taken away like a sheet stripped from you. That bondage you are facing, give it to God. God will protect you, he will be your shield. You no longer have to walk in darkness. He sends his angles to look after you and protect you.
FOCUS ON THE POSITIVE
As humans we like to complain and focus on the negatives. But if we focus on the positives and beyond the fear of the world we will see how great the positive future is that God has in store for us.
On our spiritual journey we must never forget how God loves us, and how we need to depend on Him. This proper perspective should lead to appreciation and praise—and a deeper love of the God who has given us everything we have and ever will receive. He loved us so much He even gave His own Son!
So our relationship with God grows on that foundation. “We love Him because He first loved us,” John wrote (1 John 4:19).
We can go to God with our fears. We can seek more of His Spirit. We can grow in faith in His ability to defeat anything that threatens us. We can find comfort and security in His loving care.
Ever since I was little I always thought to myself, who do I want to be?
What type of woman, daughter, sister, leader, and role model do I want to be.
As a result, growing up I tried to be exactly what I wanted to be seen as. I tried my best to be the woman God has created me to be.
Ever since ever, I knew I wanted to be a women of God. I always say who am I, if I am not spreading God's love, grace, and mercy to others around me.
There have always been Noble Women around me, examples of the Proverbs 31 woman. My mom, my grandma Stump, my Grandma Dean, and others around me.
I am writing this blog post not because I am even near being this noble woman, but it is something I strive to be.
Since high school, and now college, I have always felt like a bit of an outcast. Unlike many of those around me.
Im the "grandma" of the bunch haha
Okay, not really... but kinda.... I just don't fit in because my priorities in life have always been different from kids my age.
I am not in college to party and have fun. Sure, I need to get out more probably and step out of my comfort box! But, many kids my age, many girls, step outside of this "noble character" and it's not really them.
To me, I am in school to get my education, to meet others, and to spread God's love.
I get it... I think we all at different times in life try to be something we're not.
But I want girls, to know that you don't have to step out of your own skin and be something you aren't.
I've learned to love my coffee drinking, staying in on a Friday night, Jesus loving self.
And if others around me at school or whatever say, "why don't you get out and have fun for once in your life"
I can just say I am having fun, it's just not your definition of fun.
Now I'm not saying that if you are the party, having a ton of fun type that's bad, because it's not. But I just want the girls who are trying to be that, and feel out of place, or lost, etc. You don't have to be that girl to fit in. Find yourself elsewhere. You can find yourself in Jesus.
My biggest thing is just don't forget about what is truly the most important thing in life, Jesus.
So why is being a Noble Woman so important to me?
First... Let's start off with where in the Bible it talks about being "The Wife of Noble Character"
Here are 31 Characteristics I came up with for the Noble Woman
SHE IS FAITHFUL , WISE , KIND , VIRTUOUS , MODEST , STRONG , DIGNIFIED , HUMBLE , MEEK , HONORABLE
FEARS NOTHING OTHER THAN GOD , SHE IS GOOD, TEACHABLE , CHARITABLE , GIVING , ENCOURAGING , LOVING , BRAVE , PRAISEWORTHY , COMPASSIONATE , LOYAL , TRUSTWORTHY , SHE GIVES HER ALL , SHE NEVER GIVES UP , she is HARDWORKING , SHE KNOWS HER WORTH , SHE IS SELFLESS , SHE IS A PROVIDER , CARING , PASSIONATE , and CONFIDENT
It says she is worth far more than rubies. That her husband has full confidence in her.
That she brings him good.
When I look at my grandma and mom I see this in them. Every day of their life they spread goodness, they spread God's love, mercy, and grace.
They aren't perfect, but they love Jesus with all their hearts, and that's what being a Noble Woman means to me.
I picture a Noble Woman like the one in Proverbs waking up early, making breakfast for her husband and kids, preparing her home for another day. She is most likely tired, but there is a smile on her face because she knows that Jesus has the day ready for her. So she faces her days without fear, worry, and anxiety. Most importantly I picture her with her sights set on Jesus. He is her role model and while she might not be there yet, she is on her way to becoming a wife of noble character.
She opens her arms out to all people, because everyone on this Earth is a Child of God.
"She is clothed in strength and dignity, and laughs without fear of the future. She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue."
This is a Bible verse I have looked upon my whole life. This is the type of woman I want to be. The type of wife I want to be.
Clothed in strength, not from myself or the world, but Strength from God. Dignity found in Jesus and his love. Living my life with no fear of the days to come, not worrying about my future job, or planning out each and every day of my life. But letting God have full control and trusting in Him and His plan that he has for me and my life.
Forgetting about all the material items and focusing on spreading God's love to those around me.
It says in Proverbs 31:
Charm is deceptive, and Beauty is fleeting (short / passing).
BUT A WOMAN WHO FEARS THE LORD IS TO BE PRAISED
Honor her for all that her hands have done, and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.
So girls, be yourself, follows God's plan for you, keep your faith, and strive to be the Noble Woman.
Who is a Noble Woman in your life?
I get it, you feel like you’re not enough sometimes. Sometimes you come across as confident. Sometimes your words and your actions and the way that you present yourself all seem to be carried with this poise. But deep down you’re struggling. You’re searching. You’re wondering why aren’t I enough.
Let me tell you something, I truly believe this, and I want you to believe this too because it’s true.
Not for one moment do I believe that Jesus wants to think that we are inadequate or not enough.
I don’t want you to drown in the idea of self worth. Each and everyone of you have so much to offer in this world, so much to give this world. So much to change this world. You are valuable, you are worthy, because of him. Of course you’re going to have the nights when you feel like you’re not enough when you feel like you’re not worth it. If you have them talk to Jesus, ask him to cover you in his grace. Ask him that you wake up whole and free again.
Every time you convince yourself that you’re not worthy. You get rid of the the worth that Jesus has instilled in you.
Remember that with him, you are enough. With him you are made complete.
We are tempted by things in this world, that make us believe that we’re not enough. That make us believe that we’re not worthy. Because we are human we fall. But with God we can rise back up. We strive for an idea of perfection that the world has created but doesn’t exist. Who is the world to say what you are, or what you should become.
When we forget that we are worthy, that we are enough and that we are valuable to God, we replace the biblical view of self worth with a smaller, harmful, worldly, view of self worth.
This is when we start to create idols in our lives, when we start to want to be something that we aren’t. Whether those idols have to do with beauty, money, fame, intelligence, whatever it is, we start to think, feel, and worry about the things we think we left but others have and we think that the world says we need those things.
So when you start to feel this way when you start to feel not worthy. Remember that you are special, that each and every person in this world has different talents and abilities that were given to them by a God that loves that. That were placed into their life for reason and for a purpose. God made no mistake in creating you. He formed you with his own hands, perfect in his eyes. If we start looking through the eyes of God and stop looking through the fogged glasses of the world, you will begin to see your worth through God.
A race the masks, take them off, take away the fake confidence or pressure that you put on yourself with that others put on you. Allow yourself to be vulnerable and free in Jesus Christ.
I pray that each and everyone of you start to see yourself through the eyes of the Lord, and not only start to see yourself through the eyes of the Lord but start to see others through the eyes of him as well. This is how we can change the idea of perfection, this is how we can change the way that we view worth.
You are fearfully and wonderfully made by God , and He loves you more than anyone on this earth could ever love you. You were made in his image, with his hands, perfect to him. And that is all that matters.
Well known for her love for Jesus, coffee, and having one arm. Sarah share's stories in her life in hope to help others. She wants you to know that,
"Our differences do not define who we are but are a part of the story that God has written for our lives."
Sarah says, " I hope that I can be someone to relate to in a world of untold real stories. Everything I write is from my heart and real."
"We are all created imperfectly perfect by God, we should be proud of our imperfections and differences, they make us who we are today but do not define us, know that you are beautiful and remind yourself of this everyday."